As narrator Patrick Stewarts explains, back in the 1980s a lonely little boy wished for his teddy bear to come to life, and to everyone’s amazement it did. The talking bear became an instant celebrity, but after a while he faded into obscurity, like pretty much every other celebrity from the eighties.
Eventually the little boy got to be 35 years old, looking a lot like Mark Wahlberg. The bear matured as well — or got older, anyway — and now the two of them sit around smoking dope and watching television when Wahlberg isn’t working at his dead-end car rental job. They both have thick Boston accents, and Ted sounds a lot like Peter Griffin on the animated show Family Guy, which happens to have been created by Seth MacFarlane, who also co-wrote and directed this movie and supplies Ted’s voice (along with those of multiple characters on Family Guy).
Wahlberg’s girlfriend (Mila Kunis) has been with him for four years and while she gets along with Ted well enough, she thinks it’s about time for Ted to move out and get a job and his own place. Eventually Wahlberg agrees, and Ted winds up applying for a job he really doesn’t want at a grocery store. When he obscenely insults the store manager during his interview, the manager says, “Nobody has ever talked to me like that. You’re hired!”
“Shit!” says Ted.
So soon Ted is running a cash register, dating a ridiculously hot human female co-worker, and throwing parties in his low-rent apartment over a Chinese restaurant, during one of which one of the guests brings actor Sam Jones along. That name may not mean much to you, but he’s a huge deal to Ted and Wahlberg, since Jones was the star of a film they watched over and over again growing up, 1980’s Flash Gordon. When Ted phones to tell him the news, Wahlberg sneaks out of another party he’s attending with Mila Kunis to come to Ted’s and meet his childhood hero. Things get out of hand, leading to a fight between Sam Jones and an enraged Chinese neighbor unfortunately named Ming (“Death to Ming!”) while Ted squares off against Ming’s duck, named James Franco.
Meanwhile Mila Kunis has noticed that she’s been abandoned and correctly suspects where Wahlberg is. Convinced he will always put his teddy bear ahead of her, Kunis dumps Wahlberg and even agrees to go out on a date with her obnoxious but handsome and wealthy boss. Meanwhile a very odd man (Giovanni Ribisi) is increasingly determined to get Ted for his spoiled brat of a son.
Pretty much everything about this is ridiculous and extremely vulgar, but it still turns out to be pretty funny, and even sometimes touching, though it always manages to recover.